in the American Expressionist Movement in the 50's.
Out of the two articles, I found this bit of information in the CIA article to be the most interesting:
"Dismayed at the appeal communism still had for many intellectuals and artists in the West, the new agency set up a division, the Propaganda Assets Inventory, which at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations. They joked that it was like a Wurlitzer jukebox: when the CIA pushed a button it could hear whatever tune it wanted playing across the world.
The next key step came in 1950, when the International Organisations Division (IOD) was set up under Tom Braden. It was this office which subsidised the animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, which sponsored American jazz artists, opera recitals, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's international touring programme."
I just find it really compelling that in an attempt to assert our nations freedom and creativity(in comparison to the strictness of the USSR), origination's like the CIA would find it necessary to take direct involvement in the promotion and funding of artistic endeavors. TO imagine, that so much American artistic culture during the 50's was in many ways made possible by people who wanted to prove that we had this kind of culture in the first place.
As for the strengths and weaknesses of the two pieces:
Though undinabiley informative (&, coming from Boston University, likely more credible), the first article, Propaganda and Patronage during the Cold War, admittedly was so dense, and on occasion, repetitive, that I found it extremely difficult to read. I really wanted to like it because I found the topics of the article( propaganda, the weaponization of art during the old war, ect.) to be pretty compelling. It is possible for lengthy reading to still be engaging.
The second article succeeds where I feel the first article failed, in bringing these topics to life. Perhaps this is at the sacrifice of providing the amount of evidence and analysis that the first article does, but in my opinion, as a reader, it is well worth it. The CIA's involvement in the American Expressionist movement is bizarre( and unexpected, to me, at least) as should be presented as such.
I am particularly excited to discuss there two pieces with my peers next week.